Hundreds of ships cause logjam in Suez Canal

A dredger is used as salvage crews work to free the MV Ever Given four days after it blocked the Suez Canal

The company that owns the giant container ship stuck sideways across the Suez Canal said an attempt will be made to refloat the vessel by taking advantage of tidal movements later Saturday.

Although the headline in the above image cuts off, it read, "Cargo ship crashes into Suez Canal".

The massive vessel got stuck in a single-lane stretch of the canal, about six kilometres (3.7 miles) north of the southern entrance, near the city of Suez.

Since then, dredgers have been working to remove vast quantities of sand and mud from around the port side of the vessel's bow.

"If they don't manage to dislodge it during that high tide, the next high tide is not there for another couple of weeks, and that becomes problematic", he said.

If that doesn't work, the company will remove hundreds of containers from the front of the ship to lighten it, effectively lifting the ship to make it easier to pull free, Berdowski said.

"The first container ship to do this is Evergreen's Ever Greet. a sistership to Ever Given", it said, noting that the route can take up to an additional 12 days.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) "welcomed cooperation" with the United States in removing the giant cargo ship that has blocked the course of the world's busiest waterway, a SCA statement said on Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.

There are more than 200 ships stuck in the bottleneck of the canal waiting to pass, carrying goods that range from cars to electronic products and livestock.

Five months later, in August, a 9,000-ton tanker called the Barbaros ran aground, damaged its rudder and held up traffic for almost a day, according to The Associated Press.

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And while the Japanese owner of the ship has declared that it could be freed as soon as Saturday, experts believe that is an overly optimistic assessment.

- The company Shoei Kisen Kaisha said in a statement that dislodging the giant vessel is "extremely" hard. The White House said it has offered to help Egypt reopen the canal.

"We have equipment and capacity that most countries don't have".

"We are consulting with our Egyptian partners about how we can best support their efforts", she said, calling those consultations "ongoing". GAC, a global shipping and logistics company, had previously said the ship had experienced a power blackout, but it did not elaborate.

Concerns over pirate attacks are growing for ships that may have to travel around the African continent while the Suez Canal in Egypt remains blocked. Such an arrangement is customary, but the ship's captain retains ultimate authority over the vessel, according to experts.

Under normal circumstances, the temporary delays in global supply chains would not be a "big issue", it said.

John Denholm, president of the UK Chamber of Shipping, told the BBC that if the diggers and tugs were not successful, salvage teams would have to start the slow process of "lightering" the ship - transferring its cargo to another vessel or the canal bank. About 10 per cent of world trade flows through the canal, which is particularly crucial for transporting oil. The closure also could affect oil and gas shipments to Europe from the Middle East.

In addition to oil, Gold noted that a myriad of other goods float through the canal every day - including apparel, footwear, accessories and home goods.

Apart from that, shipping lines would be advised to explore the alternative of re-routing ships via Cape of Good Hope, although such re-routing generally takes 15 additional days.

Others also are being diverted.

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